The One, is a Burnaby restaurant from the same pedigree as Lao Shan Dong, serving up a variety of Taiwanese dishes including noodles and hot pot. The’ve taken over the space once occupied by a discount suit store in an abandoned Blockbuster video complex right next to a karaoke Joint, which they also happen to run.
Inside, The One is a modern Taiwanese cafe with a similar vibe as a club or KTV joint — gaudy bright lights with plush banquettes and loud patterns scream at you relentlessly. Crowds of young Asian kids yap happily amongst their friends as they dig in to tables overcrowded with boiling hot pots and mini dishes as Mandarin pop music fills the room.
(Above: 1. Pickled Cabbages sprinkled with bits of fresh chili. 2. Marinated Cucumbers.)
The menu at The One is pretty daunting, showcasing pages after pages of dishes. We divided our attention between the regular and Winter menu finally settling on a few dishes we hoped would reflect The One’s spectrum of offerings. First, marinated cucumbers: unevenly sliced chunks of half mangled cucumbers that was ok, but tasted under seasoned. Pickled cabbage followed: perfectly tart, crunchy and with the occasional bite from the bits of fresh chili.
(Above: Deep fried oysters unceremoniously topped with deep fried basil.)
For an appetizer, the deep fried oysters: a generous portion of smallish oysters lightly — very lightly — battered and deep fried. This dish wobbled precariously between ok and terrible as the stingy seasoning and fishy taste slowly whittled away at all the potential it may have had.
For our main, Case and I shared a hot pot (easily enough for one hungry person). From their winter menu, we selected the lamb which arrived in a stainless steel pot, and was fired up table side by our server. The broth was nice, although tasted more vegetable based than lamb. It was populated with chunks of vegetables, noodles, a variety of fish balls and scant slivers of lamb — a nice medley that continued to flavour the broth as the evening wore on.
(Above: Lamb hot pot stewing with a bunch of happy friends.)
Our bill came to $29 with taxes and tips, which is a pretty decent deal for all the dishes we had. What the One Restaurant had in potential, however, was cut short with a few stumbles. The hot pot and pickled cabbage was decent, while the deep fried oysters and marinated cucumbers disappointed. The service was similarly inconsistent swaying from the occasional attentiveness to plain abandonment near the end of our meal.
Perfect for: pre or post KTV nourishment for Asian teeny boppers.